As I wait for my mum to arrive (having just landed at Newark) I contemplate the shared arrival of fresh supplies of British snack food. I just made a leek pie following a Floyd (British TV chef) recipe that relies on having the best tasting butter, not the weird foamy/waxy yellow substance that claims to be butter in American supermarkets. Consequently it tasted a bit weird, to say the least. It’s things like this that can really get to me sometimes – why is it so different? How much variation can you put into making butter? I suspect the American substance has never even been near a cow, let alone anything as wonderfully unhealthy as cream. Although I am sure that whatever faux-cream substitute has been used is infinitely worse for you than simple cream.

Even with the crappy butter I had a lot of fun cooking, though I seriously need to practice at making pastry before my next attempts! Plus I need to get hold of some scales so I don’t make approximations that are so far off. Working from a non-beginner’s cookbook was also interesting. Sizes were not fully specified and entire steps were left out. Instructions like “make the pastry” don’t really help when you’ve no clue where to start. This is in stark contrast to most books on computer languages which seem to always start with an explanation of the most extreme basics – the cooking equivalent of “carefully open the salt container, measure out 0.5 cubic centimetres of salt and sprinkle evenly over the surface” rather than “add a pinch of salt”.

Last night I ended a week of not drinking with a few glasses of wine and a superb blue sky martini in Marions on Bowery. The drinks there are amazing and very cheap ($6) but the food doesn’t live up to the same standard unfortunately. Having written my last plea for a loss in weight I seem to be fully ignoring it and going full steam ahead to bloat-dom. Sigh. Why are New York restaurants so nice??

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